According to figures released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home resales in the United States fell sharply in December. Sales of existing homes have declined and 16.7% from the previous month to 5.45 million transactions annually. In any event, a figure far removed from the forecasts of analysts who had expected about 5.9 million. Note: this fall appears to be the largest drop since the NAR sets the statistics in this form, or since 1999. But the NAR says the – admittedly after publication of the figures – that this decline does not surprise, resales have risen every month since April except for a slight decline in August, and often exceeded expectations. This is therefore a “fair” return things.
Main reasons advanced by the NAR to justify its position that the extension of a tax credit for first-time buyers, key measure of the plan to revive the economy, introduced in February by the Obama administration. The measures were due to expire end of November 2009 were ultimately extended until late April 2010.
However, these buyers have accounted for 43% of the market in December, against 51% the previous month. The uncertainty on the extension of the tax credit would in fact led many candidates to purchase go to act before the end of November. For the full year 2009, 5.156 million of resales were recorded, or 4.9% more than in 2008. According to the NAR, the median price of sales recorded in December was the highest value since July, an increase (+1.5%) compared to assess slippery annual “first” since 2006. But he nonetheless fell by 12.4% throughout 2009 compared to the previous year.